A new study by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago has identified two fasting diets, also known as time-restricted feeding diets, to be able to lose weight.
The study reported results from a clinical trial that compared a four-hour time-restricted feeding diet and a six-hour time-restricted feeding diet to participants. Those in the first group were asked to eat only between 1-5 pm. And the second group was asked to eat between 1-7 pm. In both groups, they were allowed to eat any food of their choice during the eating period.
During the fasting hours, the participants were asked to drink water or calorie-free beverages. They were also directed to maintain weight without changing their diet or physical activity levels.
The participants were followed for 10 weeks as weight, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammatory markers were tracked.
Published in Cell Metabolism, the study found that both study groups reduced calorie intake by about 550 calories each day simply by adhering to the schedule and lost about three percent of their body weight.
There also was no significant difference in weight loss or cardiometabolic risk factors between the 4-hour and 6-hour diet groups.
Further, insulin resistance and oxidative stress levels were also found to have reduced. There was no effect on blood pressures, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol or triglycerides.
“The findings of this study are promising and reinforce what we’ve seen in other studies — fasting diets are a viable option for people who want to lose weight, especially for people who do not want to count calories or find other diets to be fatiguing,” Krista Varady, study author and professor of nutrition at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, was quoted as saying by sciencedaily.com.
“It’s also telling that there was no added weight loss benefit for people who sustained a longer fast — until we have further studies that directly compare the two diets or seek to study the optimal time for fasting, these results suggest that the 6-hour fast might make sense for most people who want to pursue a daily fasting diet,” Varady added.
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